Expanded Programming Brings More Studios and Films Into Sunday's MTV Movie Awards
MTV has used an expanded programming push around its annual MTV Movie Awards, which air live this Sunday, to bring in more studio marketers than in years past.
Tonight MTV concludes a new "Sneak Peek Week" five-day, late-night programming stunt that has featured Q&As with the casts of summer films like Disney's "Fright Night" and "The Help," Sony's "30 Minutes Or Less" and Warner Bros.' "Horrible Bosses." On Sunday it will run expanded red-carpet coverage (sponsored by Paramount's "Transformers 3") and post-show coverage (sponsored by Warner 's "Green Lantern").
That's helped MTV win a 50% increase in ad revenue over last year's awards. Non-studio advertisers include Adidas, Chevrolet, Snickers, Sprint, Starbucks, State Farm, Taco Bell and Twix.
The network and its advertisers, though, are hoping for better ratings than last year, when the awards show was down 13% in total viewers on MTV and 2% after additional airings on VH1 and MTV2 were factored in.
Increased activity from Disney, which is plugging three movies either through paid ads or talent appearances, and Warner , which is promoting four, mean this year's awards and red carpet involve more studios and more films than in the past, according to Jeannie Scalzo, MTV 's senior VP-integrated marketing.
"We have never-before-seen clips for some films, and can take advantage of talent walking the red carpet that 's done for the most part separate from any ad sales deal," Ms. Scalzo said. "Studios know that this particular platform will drive interest and make these kids go and watch that opening release on opening weekend."
The show will include the first trailer, for example, from Summit Entertainment's upcoming fourth "Twilight" film, "Breaking Dawn -- Part 1," following the studio's past practice of using the Movie Awards to introduce previews and feature the "Twilight" cast.
"The MTV audience has given the 'Twilight' films so many nominations, and so much support, what better place to share with them the first trailer for the first part in the franchise's final chapter," said Nancy Kirkpatrick, Summit's president-worldwide marketing.
The wider studio mix means the show should look a little less heavy on MTV sibling Paramount than in years past. Previous go-rounds have delivered extensive integrations for the "Transformers" and "Iron Man" movies as well as releases like "Tropic Thunder," whose co-star Tom Cruise randomly reprised his Les Grossman role in a series of appearances during the 2010 show.
Though Paramount will plug "Transformers 3" and "Super 8" this year, Steve Siskind, Paramount's exec VP-worldwide marketing and advertising, insists there's no corporate synergy afoot.
"They're really under church and state," Mr. Siskind told Ad Age . "They have such a wealth of people willing to show up and present for them. There are huge films in addition to 'Transformers' and 'Super 8,' especially when you have the 'Harry Potters' and the 'Twilights.' If our content is not going to work for them, it can't get mandated from above. It has to have a reason for being."